Archive for July, 2008

A library volunteer asked me recently what types of books libraries choose for September Project discussion events. I had a few ideas:

The Sacramento Public Library chose Three Cups of Tea this year, and the Seattle Public Library included it in their September Project last year.

Another selection worthy of a discussion: Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders. Learning about an important historical period from first-hand accounts would certainly spark thoughtful discussions amongst participants.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist would be a provocative choice, that just happens to be the selection for a campus-wide reading at Tulane University this year.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington read and discussed The Kite Runner for their event last year.

Persepolis would certainly get participants thinking about historical events and their currency in today’s world. I had the pleasure to attend a talk by the author, Marjane Satrapi, at the Seattle Public Library a few years back.

These are just a few ideas that came to mind. I’m certain there’s more… hint, hint: please share!


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This morning, Nan Carmack, Director of the Campbell County Public Library System, posted to the September Project listserv to share her library’s events:

Campbell Co. Public Library System, in rural Virginia, will be participating by displaying feature titles as well as the Banned Books Exhibit from the Long Island Coalition Against Censorship (in conjunction with Banned Books Week)

We will be also be having an essay contest for local high schoolers on the importance of voting in governmental elections, with a cash prize.  We haven’t developed the guidelines yet–guess I’d better get cracking!

I think this event is smart and exciting for many reasons. First, it’s great to see libraries planning September Project events in conjunction with already existing national (US) events like Banned Books Week and Constitution Day. Second, when it comes to town-gown collaborations, what could be better than a public library working with a public high school to encourage students to think about, express, and share the importance of voting? Third, Nan has organized September Projects in the past — when she was Events and Marketing Coordinator for Bedford (VA) Public Library System — and when it comes to publicizing library events she’s an expert and an innovator.

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Beverly Holmes Hughes, the Director of the Sugar Grove Public Library (IL) recently shared with us that her library is once again participating in the September Project. After knowing Beverly through her posts and her library’s events over the years, David and I had an opportunity to meet Beverly during a visit to the Bensenville Public Library while we were in Chicago for ALA. It was a pleasure to put a face to her name and voice to her words.

One year I was able to participate in a global event hosted at Sugar Grove and at the National Library Board of Singapore.

Ivan Chew and Beverly organized a teen event that took place completely online using Instant Messenger, where teens from different sides of the world–Illinois, Singapore–discussed how they were different and how they were the same. It was a remarkable event, embodying my personal dreams for the September Project of bringing people together to learn from each other, to be challenged, and to consider a better world. I was honored to be a part of this inspired September Project event, and it remains one of my most treasured library experiences. Thanks, Beverly and Ivan.

Following is Sugar Grove’s 2008 program:

Libraries Remember, September 11, 2001

The Sugar Grove Public Library (IL) will be joining with other libraries across the nation in a day of remembrance and celebration. According to Bill Erbes, of the Bensenville Community Library “libraries represent the sum of all human knowledge, and they represent equal access to that knowledge. Libraries represent freedom of expression, celebration of diversity, a playing field that is level, preservation of heritage, and commitment to the future.”

The Sugar Grove Public Library will open our doors for service at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, September 11, 2008 and remain open for 24 hours. During this time we will host Ceremonies at our Flag Pole, provide the opportunity for community gatherings, and library business as usual. Sugar Grove Library Friends will be hosting a Coffee/ Snack Bar throughout the event in addition to their membership drive and silent auction.

On this day we are hosting the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry for their monthly meeting. Their meeting will be on our lawn as a community picnic. Mr. Ed Huss, Veteran and Local Activist, will be our speaker, his topic is “Being Patriotic.”

Library staff will encourage people to register to vote on this day. The Library will sponsor hourly door prize drawings for gift books. A gift book is a book placed in the library collection in honor or memory of an individual or group of your choice. We invite you to join us throughout this 24 hours remembrance to read, reflect and resonate with pride in celebration of our American freedoms.

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Denise Landry-Hyde, a Reference/Distributed Learning Librarian at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, posted to the project listserv to share Bell Library’s September Project event. Denise writes:

“The Bell Library at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will be hosting a display during the Fall Semester on “Electing a President.” This will be our contribution for the September Project. We’ll also point out (for Constitution Day on Sept. 17th) the parts of the Constitution governing the election of the U.S. President. Part of the display will feature and encourage voter registration and participation.”

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In its 5th year of participating in the September Project, the Seattle Public Library is organizing a suite of events that are provocative, diverse, and worth attending. The Seattle Library–especially my old neighborhood branches of Ballard and Capitol Hill–holds a dear place in my heart. If you’re in town, please attend at least ONE of their events!

“All the King’s Men”: Front Porch Theatre

7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10

Central Library, Microsoft Auditorium

The Seattle Public Library and Intiman Theatre present the first in a series of county-wide, informal dramatic readings from Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men,” adapted for the stage by Adrian Hall. A dialogue about how the story resonates in this historic presidential election year will follow the readings. Join Seattle luminaries and community members and bring family and friends to create a storytelling circle; read a 40-minute excerpt from the play aloud and bring the characters of this monumental tale of politics, power and history to life. For more information: www.intiman.org

Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer: “The True Patriot”

7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11
Central Library, Microsoft Auditorium

6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25
Capitol Hill Branch

6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8
Green Lake Branch

Who gets to call themselves a patriot? In this presidential election year, the true meaning of patriotism will be widely contested. Join authors Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu for a lively civic discussion of their new book and what it means to love America and be a patriotic citizen. For more information: http://www.truepat.org

“The Corporal’s Diary”: Film screening and discussion

7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23
Central Library, Microsoft Auditorium

“The Corporal’s Diary” tells a timely and timeless soldier’s story. Jonathan Santos, 22, documents his 37 days in Iraq on video and in writing, never knowing that day 38 would be his last. From high explosives to clandestine home brew, his video footage and witty narrative tie together personal musings on life, death, and the future he imagined but would never see. His best friend Matthew, who barely survives, brings the war back home. For more information: http://thecorporalsdiary.com

Filmmakers Patricia Boiko and Laurel Spellman and members of the Santos family will attend the screening.

Robert Fisk, “Age of the Warrior: Selected Essays”

7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26

Central Library, Microsoft Auditorium

The veteran British war correspondent best known for his insightful writing on the contemporary Middle East reads from essays collected from his articles in the Independent. Topics include terrorism, the sinking of the Titanic, Iraq and Israel, Ireland and Fisk family history.

This program is presented in cooperation with The Elliott Bay Book Co. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

All events are free and open to the public. Tickets and reservations are not required. Limited parking in the Central Library garage is available for a $5 special event rate. Limited parking at branches is free. Doors will open 30 minutes before the program begins.

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Thanks to Ana A Chiesa and Proyecto CIBA, our project description has been translated into Spanish. Thank you Ana! If you belong to and/or serve Spanish-speaking communities, please consider forwarding this message to them.

El Proyecto Septiembre alienta a las bibliotecas y las comunidades para reunirse de manera significativa a lo largo del mes de Septiembre.

El Proyecto Septiembre es un esfuerzo de base para fomentar actos públicos a favor de la libertad y la democracia en todas las bibliotecas en todos los países durante el mes de Septiembre. Los eventos que se realizan para esta fecha, exploran cuestiones tales como la paz, la libertad y son trabajados por intermedio de muestras de libro, mesas redondas, debates cívicos, proyecciones de películas, representaciones teatrales, lecturas de libros en comunidad, murales, los niños y proyectos de arte, y mucho más. Se espera que todas las actividades a realizarse en el Proyecto Septiembre sean gratuitos y organizados a nivel local.

¿Cómo pueden participar? Organizando un evento en tú biblioteca, y nos dicen sobre él! Nosotros publicaremos todos los eventos en nuestro sitio a medida que se desarrollan en todo el mundo.

El Proyecto Septiembre se inició en 2004. Comenzó en este mes para romper el silencio siguiente al 11 de septiembre, e invitar a todas las personas en las bibliotecas para considerar temas como el patriotismo, la democracia y la ciudadanía. Inicialmente, se centró en que los eventos se realizarán el 11 de septiembre puesto q es la fecha clave, ya que nace en recuerdo de este día. El año pasado, hubo más de 500 eventos en las bibliotecas en 30 países.


Como siempre, participan en el Proyecto Septiembre es fácil:

1) Organizar un evento en su biblioteca
2) Comparte tu caso en el proyecto de listas (la lista de dirección: theseptemberproject AT usfca.edu).

Cuéntenos lo que usted y sus colegas están planeando para tu comunidad! De esta forma, los miembros de la lista serán capaces de aprender acerca de su caso y posiblemente colaborar y compartir ideas. Una vez que su caso se contabiliza en la de listas, vamos a incluirlo en nuestra página web.

Como siempre, es un privilegio y placer de colaborar con ustedes, con su bibliotecas, y las comunidades que servimos.

¡He aquí Proyecto Septiembre 2008!

El Proyecto Septiembre: conectar el mundo una biblioteca a la vez

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we have a map!

It’s been fun to watch September Project events evolve over the past 5 years, and fascinating to watch technology improve and expand along with them. Way back in 2004, we had a map that marked each participating library with a pin. The map was based on code, sweat, and tears by our then Technology Director John Klockner, and each pin was painstakingly placed using layers of x and y coordinates as each event was posted to our listserv.

Fast forward 5 years, and through the magic of google maps, we’re able (we = david and me, non-coders) to create and embed a map for the September Project as if we had some kind of special powers 🙂

So now you can add to the magic! If you don’t see your event on the map, please drop us a line or post to the listserv. we’re excited to see your library marked with a pin!

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